Old China Town KL The Malaya Study Group Selangor SG 87

The Malaya Study Group exists for collectors of the stamps, postal stationery and postal history of the states of Peninsular Malaysia which until 1963 formed the Federation of Malaya, including the Straits Settlements of Malacca, Penang and Singapore, the Federated Malay States, Negri Sembilan and Sungei Ujong, Pahang, Perak and Selangor and the Unfederated States, Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis and Trengganu. Many MSG members also collect & study all of modern Malaysia, Singapore, and the island of Borneo, comprising additionally  Sabah, Sarawak, Borneo, Labuan, and the states of Brunei & the peninsular state of Singapore. Study of the whole area so often adds to understanding and appreciation of the philately of Malaya. The Society has a JOURNAL, "The Malayan Philatelist" and a NEWSLETTER supplied free to members, EXCHANGE PACKETS, AUCTIONS and has produced a number of significant PUBLICATIONS on the stamps and postal history of the area.

Saturday 10th February 2018 Registered AR, Express Members Displays


Pictures by Len Stanway

Report by Mike Padmore


Members displays February 10th 2018

Present: Malcolm Clarke, Peter Cockburn, Nick Hervey, Mac McClaren, Brian McGovern, Dominic Morris, Mike Padmore, Gordon Peters, Martin Roper, Len Stanway, Carl Stott, Michael Waugh. Guest: Ann Stanway Apologies: Nick Hackney

Malcolm Clarke opened proceedings with a complete round of Straits Settlements Registered mail, his main focus being different types of label and postal stationery envelopes. He began with an 1880 cover to Cambridge, franked at five times the 8 cents rate. He noted that this rate did not change till 1903, when it was reduced to 5 cents.
Frame 2 included a couple of late Victorian covers, one with Singapore transit and NEI agent marks. The rest were Edward VII examples (Malcolm observed there was not a lot of material from that era). These included the first AR mark in his collection, from 1908, number of different types of AR stamps and an example of a first printed Registration label from 1912
Up till 1922, he noted that most popular sizes of registered envelope were F and G. He showed an H and an H2 (elongated H) but did not have a used Straits Settlements K size, though he would display some States examples of that size later. Unused, he noted, were not too difficult to find but used were more difficult.
Frame 5 included a German Consulate cover with red eagle imprint on its back from 20 MY 1939; several 12 cents covers with additional adhesives after the rate increase to 15 cents but before new stationery became available; and a KNILM first flight cover franked with Selangor, Pahang and Negri Sembilan stamps. Malcolm noted that AR covers were less comon during WW2. He pondered whether U-boat losses might partially explain this, as after the fall of Ftance, mail for GB took the Horseshoe Route and then travelled by boat up West African coast. He observed that the Clipper/Atlantic route was opened partly as a result of this.
Frame 7 showed Johore material, including a 1976 handstamp. Frame 8, featured Posted out of Course material - items that should have been handed over a PO counter (and a receipt obtained) but which may have simply been posted in a drop box. If there was evidence of the intention to register, the postal authorities would try to treat such item as registered, as far as practicable. He diplayed a variety of P.o.o.C handstamps, some boxed and others not, from Singapore and various states.
The next frame featured later material followed by Taxe marks applied where it looked as if a full registration fee had not paid (e.g. stamps affixed to an envelope’s back but not noticed).
Malcolm continued his display into Round 2 with seven examples of insured covers. The earliest label he had was from 1920, though he was aware that examples existed before then. His second frame featured Express material, including the earliest example he had from the Jap Occ period, and his display concluded with examples of postal stationery uprated for Registration, including a reply paid postcard!

Mike Padmore followed on with a frame of FMS registered material. This included envelopes (predominantly size F and G) covering the gradual increase in the registration fee plus ordinary covers registered, many bearing AR handstamps. A 1903 5 cents registered envelope was uprated by two 5 cents adhesives with distinctively different shades. He echoed Malcolm’s earlier comment that a fair amount of registered mail seems to have been refused, displaying one example with contents that were a formal demand for payment - an obviously unwelcome message. A 1926 registered cover from KL to India had been returned with no less than sixteen cancels and handstamps and four handwritten messages, including three DLO stamps, the final one from KL.
His second frame showed a variety of AR cards ranging from early buff FMS examples from 1925 and 1933, through to the more usual pink cards of later eras, including a 1949 BMA period card where the content had obviously been transcribed literally word for word from a Great Britain example. He noted that P & T code for the card never changed, even when the design did, though the individual printing indent (and sometimes quantity ordered) was always shown separately on each design.

Gordon Peters completed the second round with three frames. He began with a registered postcard with handstruck marks including one for the Agri-Horticultural Show 1910, followed by a curiosity - a 1941 cover from Butterworth bearing two different censor marks with the same number. Gordon observed that there appeared to be a system by which the pre-printed receipts for registered items bore a letter corresponding with the letter on the registration label, but he was unsure as to how this was system was impleted. He also displayed some covers with handstruck registration etiquettes, possibly used when an office was running short of labels.
Frame 7 featured material from Singapore sub-offices, including a Recomandée stamp on a Sea View Hotel envelope. Gordon pondered, but could not explain how the sender would have got a receipt. Also displayed were Chartered Bank of India and E&O Hotel envelopes bearing handstruck marks.
Frame 9, the final one of the Round, featured a 1925 Singapore “Advice of Delivery” card and a 1900 German AR card sent with an item together with a little envelope in which to return the card. Gordon observed that he had no Insured and Registered material but he was able to show AR and Express and AR and Insured material plus some examples where Posted out of Course stamps had been reduced to the initials POOC, including a cover endorsed by a P.O.O.C. FOUND BY .... AND SENT TO DESTINATION hand stamp and another stamped Pengeposam Luar Haluan, a phrase which he noted refered to the bows of a ship.

Dominic Morris began Round 3 with four frames of George VI material, opening with an incoming Hong Kong cover featuring Non Reclamé and Retour cachets and a 1940 Seremban to Aden cover with both Malayan and Aden censor marks. His second frame featured some ex Malcolm Wade material with a variety of registered labels including Batu Gajah, Hutan Melingtan, Ipoh East, Menglembu, Pankor Island and Selama plus Ipoh hand struck over Kalumpeng and Pengalan Kampas labels. His later display featured pre-war material, including a philatelic cover with $3.29 franking and a Perak cover with Kanji overprints.

Michael Waugh continued the Round with a 12 June 1888 Singapore Registered cover, sent via Marseilles to Duke of Parma (father of Zita, last Empress of Austria) and cancelled with blue octagonal Ligne 3 cancels and violet chops of the Austro-Hungarian Consulate. A 1.7.1895 Registered cover from Penang to Honolulu featured a very early red AR handstamp plus Singapore & Hong Kong receivers on its reverse. He observed that philatelic Registered covers often got got cleaner cancels. A 5.9.1901 Singapore Registered cover to the Hague took 24 days in transit, the fastest line at the time was Nord Deutscher which discharged Europe mail at Brindisi.
His sixth frame showed a series of ten large sized Registered letters from Singapore to Thorngumbald near Hull, several cut down to the franking, from between 1901 and 1907, (Peter Cockburn noted very nice combinations of late Victoria stamps as well as Edward VII stamps added to values of between $1 and $2.) His seventh frame included a 10 Aug 1917 Dutch seaman’s Registered letter ex Singapore to Haarlem, received 3.10.17 with ship name KPM Melchior Traub in manuscript on the letter flap. It had been GB censored. Michael remarked that similar mail from the N.E.I. was often not received till after the end of WWI.
Further material included a 25.2.1897 Klang multi franked Windrath cover with 2 additional stamps possibly added ex facto; an early receipt for a registered letter, dated 13.4.98 at KL (Proud D2); a 22.11.27 AR card to Kuala Lipis ex Rangoon; a 21.2.1910 Registered article receipt from Kulim (Kedah) with a Siamese/English CDS; and a 2 Nov 1938 Air Mail Registered cover to Philadelphia, by air to London then by ship from UK.

Len Stanway opened the fourth Round with 1898 Registration Forms, a Registered parcel label and a Jap Occ Express postcard, followed by two “Bureau de Post” Express labels,
AR cards to the 1959 design but post 1963 printing and several examples of Registered labels on Tyvek plastic envelopes (including an envelope with blue colour ommitted).
He then displayed a range of more contemporary labels following on from the last day of conventional registration. He noted that the initial new designs were considered too big and were subsequently reduced in size. Their colour coding was:
Red for domestic use (including postage in the purchase price),
Blue for international post (the Registration fee only, no postage included),
Green for Interdepartmental post,
RF pink for incoming Registered items with non-UPU compliant barcodes,
RP red series for agencies which were exempt from postage but did pay a Registration fee (later changed to brown on the smaller label),
Yellow for AR.
Several blue label examples showed adhesive labels stuck over old values as the fee was progressively raised from R3.90 to R4.00, then to R4.60.
His display concluded with a July 2008 AR card with a Pos Malaysia Recomandée label, an anonymous large format label (late 1980s) for handstamping, found on some incoming mail eg. a February 1960 cover from Siberia to Batu Gajah.

Peter Cockburn followed with, of course, some BMA material, beginning with AR marks from a variety of Perak offices. He felt there were still a number of AR marks to be collated and/or identified. Malcom Clarke asked Peter if ne’d noticed any peak in AR mail in Septtember/October 1946, and Peter posited that that may be true, perhaps driven by a lot of post war debt collection?
Peter continued a Johore AR mark in red; another AR card with GB text from the 1947 printing; a single Express label from KL; several blank Registration labels endorsed by rubber chops from Alor Star, Ipoh East, Lahat, Raub, Sungei Patani, plus two with the blank completed in script from Selima and Kampar
Finally, Peter concluded the afternoon with an Airmail cover to Kuching found in a dropbox and a Registered cover from Sungei Patani using a provisional R plus town name stamp in a hand drawn box and a Pengkalam Kompas label overwritten Batu Rd.

Mike Padmore





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